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May 16, 2011 10:00 PM

Dry Road Now Open Into Claremont

Claremont, SD


The Brown County Highway Department is starting week three of its effort to make roads around Claremont passable.

Spring flooding hit the area so hard this year, it took out one county road after another until there wasn't a single passable, dry road left leading to the small town.

It's been about a month, but the highway department has built up a road high enough to get it out of the water. It’s working on another road in the area as well.

"It's a great, great thing to see them working so hard on it. If Mother Nature would cooperate, I think they would be done in short order," Faye Hoines said.

The route leading to town from the west is the one the county has already built up. Crews hauled in more than 3,000 tons of rock, dirt and gravel to build up a stretch more than a half mile long.

Now they're fixing a stretch north of town, which Hoines is happy to see. She had to drive to one end of that closed stretch of road Monday and walk across to the other end where someone from the store in Claremont was meeting her so she could buy parts for the farm.

"We're just glad to see them working so at least we can get across and get some small things," Hoines said.

Things are looking up in Claremont, but they're still far from perfect.

"It's an improvement. We've got to drain off this water and come up with a plan for some long-term drainage," Mayor Bob Thompson said. 

The road east of town is still under water. But as crews continue to work on other routes, the number of passable roads should soon outnumber those that aren't.

The Brown County Highway Department spent somewhere around $150,000 to build up the road west of town. It has other immediate repair projects on the list when it's done by Claremont.
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